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Book: Dope Sick by Walter Dean Myers

Publisher: Harper Teen

Furnished by: ARC from Harper-Collins Publishers

On Sale Date: February 10, 2009

Publisher’s Description: “The itch starts when things get too heavy for Lil J. Skin popping or stealing pain pills from his mom help him relax. But Lil J’s focus is wandering because money is short, and his man Rico knows a way to make some quick cash. It’s supposed to be an easy deal, but it isn’t so simple when the buyer is an undercover cop.

With a gunshot wound to the arm, Rico in jail, and a police officer clinging to life, Lil J is starting to get dope sick. He’d do anything to change the last twenty-four hours, and when he stumbles into an abandoned crack house, it actually might be possible…

Walter Dean Myers weaves elements of magical realism into a harrowing story about drug use, violence, alternate perceptions of reality, and second chances.”

Rating: 3 stars (out of 5)

Review: A quick, enjoyable read; Dope Sick is the story of how one boy in the ‘hood gets a second chance to take a close look at his life and find a way out of the hustle and grind that so many young black men succumb to.

After a drug deal gone wrong, Lil J is on the run and ends up hiding out in an abandoned building with a spooky squatter known only as Kelly. Kelly may not have much, but he does have one thing — a television which has the ability to help Lil J run back through his memories and his life (and at times, go to the possible future) so that he can really decipher just where his life had gone wrong. Lil J is on a precipice, teetering between the life he leads now, a good life, or instantaneous death. And he must answer one question to decide his fate — “If you could change one thing about your life, what would it be?”